I can’t remember where I read about Irish Creek – it was in some article that talked about folks passing up the South River in their hurry to get to Irish Creek. After visiting it, I have to say, “Why bother?” I later found a reference to it in Virginia Trout Streams by Harry Slone who was high on this creek as well. Curious, I looked at the copyright on the book and saw that it was 1991. Ah! 16 years explains a lot. What may have been nice once, no longer is.
This place sucks. I know there are fans of every stretch of water and I will probably hear from some telling me why I am wrong. I encourage them to share their experience with me so if I ever go back, I can see where I got the wrong impression. But, even with guidance, that revisit will be a long time coming.
I drove in from the west and the road hugs the creek all the way up. In it’s lower reaches, there is some water and there look to be some pools, but it is closer to the road than the South Fork of the Piney with none of the cachet. Every place you can pull over has a well beaten trail to the water as you can see from the example picture below.
There is civilization all over the place here! House line the creek and you must be careful of the posted signs. I had hoped that when I got up into the park, the water would get better, but it trailed off to a trickle. I’m sure if you go farther in, you can probably find some pocket water, but I lost interest. I drove, stopped, and fished from the entrance on the map to where the “N” in Washington is.
I did not see anyone else fishing when I was there, but the beaten trails indicate heavy pressure.
Rather than waste time on Irish, I recommend you go on down to the Pedlar or fish the South River. While the South is road fishing as well, it’s bigger water with more possibilities.
Getting There: The first question to ask is ‘why?’. But, if you go, just Mapquest your way to Marlbrook, VA. This is on VA 608. Continue south from Marlbrook on 608 and turn on 603. Irish Creek parallels 603.
Look at this path. The road is right above – every spot has a parking pulloff and a well beaten track like this to the water.
Most of the creek runs right next to the road with views like this.
In the upper end, the water gets shallow and skinny
There are a few nice spots. To find them just pull off and follow the intensely beaten paths the 5 feet to the water.
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore